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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia


and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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Economic Crises and the Breakdown


of Authoritarian Regimes
Indonesia and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective

Why do some authoritarian regimes topple during financial crises,


whereas others steer through financial crises relatively unscathed? In
this book, Thomas B. Pepinsky uses the experiences of Indonesia and
Malaysia and the analytical tools of open economy macroeconomics to
answer this question. Focusing on the economic interests of authoritar-
ian regimes’ supporters, Pepinsky shows that differences in cross-border
asset specificity produce dramatically different outcomes in regimes
facing financial crises. When supporters are divided by the mobility
of their capital assets, as in Indonesia, they desire mutually incompat-
ible adjustment policies, yielding incoherent adjustment policy fol-
lowed by regime collapse. When coalitions are not divided by the
mobility of their assets, as in Malaysia, regimes adopt radical adjust-
ment measures that enable them to survive financial crises. Combining
rich qualitative evidence from Southeast Asia with cross-national time-
series data and comparative case studies of Latin American autocracies,
Pepinsky reveals the power of coalitions and capital mobility to explain
how financial crises produce regime change.

Thomas B. Pepinsky is Assistant Professor of Government and a faculty


affiliate of the Southeast Asia Program at Cornell University. His
research appears in World Politics, European Journal of International
Relations, Journal of East Asian Studies, Journal of Democracy, Studies
in Comparative International Development, and several edited vol-
umes. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University and taught at
the University of Colorado at Boulder from 2007 to 2008. He held a
Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship in
Indonesia and Malaysia from 2004 to 2005.

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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Economic Crises and the Breakdown


of Authoritarian Regimes
Indonesia and Malaysia in Comparative
Perspective

THOMAS B. PEPINSKY
Cornell University

© Cambridge University Press www.cambridge.org


Cambridge University Press
978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521744386

Ó Thomas B. Pepinsky 2009

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception


and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without the written
permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2009

Printed in the United States of America

A catalog record for this publication is available from the British Library.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Pepinsky, Thomas B., 1979–


Economic crises and the breakdown of authoritarian regimes : Indonesia and Malaysia in
comparative perspective / Thomas B. Pepinsky.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
isbn 978-0-521-76793-4 (hardback) – isbn 978-0-521-74438-6 (pbk.)
1. Indonesia – Politics and government – 20th century. 2. Authoritarianism – Indonesia.
3. Indonesia – Economic policy – 20th century. 4. Indonesia – Economic conditions – 20th
century. 5. Malaysia – Politics and government – 20th century. 6. Authoritarianism –
Malaysia. 7. Malaysia – Economic policy – 20th century. 8. Malaysia – Economic
conditions – 20th century. I. Title.
jq776.p42 2009
959.505#4 – dc22 2008055952

isbn 978-0-521-76793-4 hardback


isbn 978-0-521-74438-6 paperback

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not guarantee the accuracy of such information thereafter.

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Cambridge University Press
978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
Frontmatter
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If the fields are ruined, then the city too will be short of
sustenance.
If there are no subjects, then clearly there will be other islands
that come to take us by surprise.
Therefore let them be cared for so that both will be stable; this
is the benefit of my words to you.
– Mpu Prapañca, the Nagarakrtagama
_
Many are the places and lands which have been destroyed by
the depredations of the young scions of the ruling house,
whose rapacious hands can no longer be tolerated by the
people.
– Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir Munsyi, Hikayat Abdullah

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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Contents

List of Tables page ix


List of Figures xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Terms and Abbreviations xv

1 Crises, Adjustment, and Transitions 1


Two Countries, Two Trajectories 1
Understanding Adjustment and Authoritarian Breakdowns 4
Data and Methods 9
The Plan of the Book 11
2 Coalitional Sources of Adjustment and Regime Survival 14
The Reform Game 16
Financial Crises and the Problem of Adjustment 20
The Global Scope of the Argument 32
Conclusion 35
Appendix 36
3 Authoritarian Support Coalitions: Comparing Indonesia
and Malaysia 40
The New Order 42
Mahathir’s Malaysia 61
Discussion: Alternative Models of Authoritarian Politics 77
4 Adjustment Policy in Indonesia, June 1997–May 1998 82
Crisis Onset 85
Fiscal and Trade Policy 87
Monetary Policy 91
Finance and Corporate Policy 94

vii

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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viii Contents

Exchange Rate and Capital Account Policy 105


Alternative Explanations? 115
5 Adjustment Policy in Malaysia, June 1997–December 1999 119
Crisis Onset 121
Fiscal and Trade Policy 124
Monetary Policy 130
Finance and Corporate Policy 133
Exchange Rate and Capital Account Policy 143
Alternative Explanations? 152
6 Authoritarian Breakdown in Indonesia 155
Ex Ante Unlikely, Ex Post Inevitable 156
Late New Order Politics 166
Riots, Exit, and Endgame 180
Conclusion 185
Postscript: From Authoritarian Breakdown to
Democratization 187
7 Authoritarian Stability in Malaysia 192
‘‘The Tragedy That Didn’t Happen’’ 193
Mahathir’s Malaysia in 1997 198
International Retreat and Domestic Offensive 210
Conclusion 222
8 Cross-National Perspectives 225
Capital Account Restrictions and Regime Survival 226
Debt Crises in the Southern Cone 238
Mexico: 1980s and 1990s 250
Conclusion: Cross-National Perspectives on Crises,
Coalitions, and Change 260
9 Conclusions 264
Implications for Social Science 266
Normative Implications 274

References 279
Index 313

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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List of Tables

2.1 Cross-Border Asset Mobility: Adjustment Policy


Preferences page 27
2.2 Twin Crises, 1975–1997 33
2.3 Twin Crises and Authoritarian Breakdowns 34
3.1 Ten Largest Military-Linked Business Groups 48
3.2 Twenty-five Leading Konglomerat in 1997 55
3.3 Party-Linked Malay Business Leaders in Malaysia 71
4.1 Economic Adjustment in Indonesia: Policies, Losers,
Implementation 84
4.2 Selected Indonesian Debt Indicators 86
4.3 Wholesale Price Inflation, Forty-four
Largest Cities, December 1997–May 1998 90
4.4 Some Beneficiaries of Liquidity Support in Excess
of 500 Percent Equity 97
4.5 Exports by Commodity Type, January–April 1997
and January–April 1998 109
4.6 ‘‘Love Indonesia Campaign’’ Donations 111
5.1 Adjustment Policy in Malaysia: Policies, Losers,
Implementation 120
5.2 Key Policy Measures in Malaysia 121
5.3 Selected Malaysian Debt Indicators 122
5.4 Deferred Investment Projects in Malaysia, by Month 125
5.5 Malaysian Exports by Commodity Type, 1997
and 1998 146

ix

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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x List of Tables

5.6 Quarterly Investment Flows, 1997–1998 147


5.7 Regulations on Capital Account Transactions,
September 1, 1998 148
6.1 Families of Explanations for the New
Order’s Breakdown 157
6.2 Key Appointments to the Seventh Development
Cabinet 178
7.1 Families of Explanations for Malaysia’s Stability 194
7.2 Malaysia’s 1999 General Election Results 220
7.3 Malaysia’s Parliamentary Election Results, by
Component Party and State 221
8.1 Authoritarian Breakdowns: Variables, Definitions,
and Sources 229
8.2 Authoritarian Breakdowns: Descriptive Statistics 229
8.3 Determinants of Autocratic Breakdowns during
Twin Crises 230
8.4 Descriptive Statistics for the Panel Analysis of
Authoritarian Breakdowns 234
8.5 Grouped Duration Results of the Panel Analysis 235
8.6 Coalitions, Adjustment, and Breakdown in the
Latin American Debt Crisis 238
9.1 Probability of Autocratic Breakdown, by Crisis and
Coalition Type 273

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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List of Figures

2.1 The Theory page 15


2.2 The Reform Game, b>0 37
2.3 The Reform Game with Multiple Reform
Possibilities 38
2.4 The Reform Game with Two Constituents 38
3.1 Indonesian Inflation and GDP, 1958–1997 44
4.1 Indonesian Interbank Overnight Call Rates 92
4.2 Consumer Price Index and Wholesale Price Index,
January 1997–June 1998 94
4.3 Money Supply, January 1997–June 1998 95
4.4 Daily Rupiah–U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate,
January 1997–June 1998 106
5.1 Malaysian Interbank Overnight Call Rates 131
5.2 Consumer Price Index and Wholesale Price
Index, January 1997–December 1999 133
5.3 Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange Composite
Index, January 1997–December 1999 134
5.4 Daily Ringgit–U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate,
January 1997–December 1999 143
6.1 Indonesia and Malaysia, Annualized Quarterly
Real GDP Growth Rate, 1997–1998 159
8.1 Capital Account Restrictions and Transition
Probabilities 231

xi

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
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Thomas B. Pepinsky
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xii List of Figures

8.2 Marginal Effect of Twin Crises on the Probability


of an Authoritarian Breakdown, by Capital
Openness and Regime Type 236
9.1 Average Capital Openness around
the World, 1970–2006 269

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
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Thomas B. Pepinsky
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Acknowledgments

I am grateful to many people for their encouragement and criticism over


the many years that this project has taken me to complete. At Yale,
Frances Rosenbluth went far beyond the call of duty in giving prompt,
critical responses to my endless questions. Stathis Kalyvas and Zé
Cheibub made me articulate how my research would be interesting to
someone who does not study financial politics in Southeast Asia, and the
book is far stronger for it. The three of them together made me turn the
product of my field research from a story to an argument. Keith Darden,
Justin Fox, Pierre Landry, Ellen Lust-Okar, Nikolay Marinov, Gus Ranis,
Ken Scheve, Sue Stokes, Mariano Tommasi, and Jim Vreeland each at
various points helped me to think about the wider implications of my
argument, both theoretically and empirically. Indriyo Sukmono is a great
friend and a language teacher yang tak ternilai dukungannya. My grad-
uate school friends Katie Galvin, Steve Kosack, and Tarek Masoud over-
saw the first tentative steps in the project, and Rafaela Dancygier and
Steve Kaplan gave me valuable feedback as it neared completion.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to my ‘‘external coalition’’ for reading
and commenting on portions of the project at various stages, in particular
Andy Baker, Carew Boulding, Alasdair Bowie, David Brown, Jason
Brownlee, Bill Case, Don Emmerson, Gustavo Flores-Macı́as, Jeff
Frieden, Ken Greene, Steph Haggard, Allen Hicken, Jomo K. S., Joe
Jupille, Peter Katzenstein, Jonathan Kirshner, Ehito Kimura, David Leb-
lang, Bill Liddle, Andrew MacIntyre, Rizal Mallarangeng, David Patel,
Ken Roberts, Michael Ross, Shanker Satyanath, Dan Slater, Ben Smith,
David Waldner, and Sean Yom. What to them probably seemed like for-
gettable, throwaway comments were for me key criticisms, sometimes

xiii

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
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Thomas B. Pepinsky
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xiv Acknowledgments

devastating ones, that suggested important refinements to the argument


and occasionally kept me up at night. Any errors that remain in the book
are, of course, my own.
To my many informants in both countries who continue to struggle for
reform, good governance, and justice, and hence cannot be cited by name,
I give you my thanks.
The bulk of the fieldwork was sponsored by a Fulbright-Hays Interna-
tional Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship from the United States
Department of Education. Language training was sponsored by a Foreign
Language and Area Studies Grant from the Department of Education. I
was fortunate to receive repeated research grants from both the Leitner
Program on International and Comparative Political Economy and the
Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Yale. In Indonesia, I benefited from
an affiliation with the Freedom Institute in Jakarta, and in Malaysia, from
affiliations with the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Univer-
siti Kebangsaan Malaysia and the Institute for Strategic and International
Studies in Kuala Lumpur. In Indonesia, I am grateful to Saiful Mujani,
Ahmad Sahal, Sugianto Tandra, Nong Darol Mahmada, Anis, and Tata at
Freedom for all of their help, support, and friendship. In Malaysia, I owe
special thanks to Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud and Ahmad Nidzammuddin
Sulaiman at UKM and to Haji Mohamed Md. Ibrahim and Dato’ Seri
Mohamad Jawhar Hassan at ISIS-Malaysia. Thanks also to Nelly Pal-
iama at the American Indonesian Exchange Foundation and Don
McCloud and Meena Ponnusamy at the Malaysian-American Commis-
sion on Educational Exchange for all sorts of visa help.
Lew Bateman and Emily Spangler at Cambridge University Press
deserve special praise for dealing with a first-time author. Their patience
and professionalism helped make the editorial process smooth and easy.
Parts of Chapters 2, 4, and 5 previously appeared as ‘‘Capital Mobility
and Coalitional Politics: Authoritarian Regimes and Economic Adjust-
ment in Southeast Asia,’’ World Politics 60 (3) (2008): 438–74.
In the end, this book is for Julie. She tolerated a year plus of fieldwork,
helped me to track down materials, gave valuable feedback as I worked
through the theory, took me out for local cuisine and beer, and kept me
very happy at the same time.

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
and Malaysia in Comparative Perspective
Thomas B. Pepinsky
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Terms and Abbreviations

ABIM Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Malaysian


Islamic Youth Movement)
ABRI Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia (Armed
Forces of Indonesia)
Apkindo Asosiasi Panel Kayu Indonesia (Wood Panel
Association of Indonesia)
ASB Amanah Saham Bumiputra (Bumiputra Unit
Trust)
ASN Amanah Saham Nasional (National Unit Trust)
BA Barisan Alternatif (Alternative Front)
Bais Badan Intelijen Strategis (Strategic Intelligence
Agency)
Bakin Badan Kordinasi Intelijen Negara (Coordinating
Agency for State Intelligence)
balatkom bahaya laten komunisme (latent danger of
communism)
Berdikari Berdiri di Atas Kaki Sendiri (Indonesia’s
government-owned trading firm; literally,
‘‘stand on one’s own feet’’)
Berhad Limited Liability Corporation (Malaysia)
BI Bank Indonesia (Central Bank of Indonesia)
BLBI Bantuan Likuiditas Bank Indonesia (Bank
Indonesia Liquidity Support)
BN Barisan Nasional (National Front)
BNM Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of
Malaysia)

xv

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
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Thomas B. Pepinsky
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xvi Terms and Abbreviations

BPPC Badan Penyangga dan Pemasaran Cengkeh


(Clove Marketing Board)
Bulog Badan Urusan Logistik (Bureau of Logistical
Affairs)
bumiputra Malaysian not of Indian or Chinese ancestry;
includes Austronesian peoples of Malaysian
Borneo (Bidayuh, Iban, Kadazandusun, etc.)
and non-Malay indigenous peoples of the
Malayan Peninsula (orang asli); also includes
by law Thais and Eurasians
CBS Currency Board System
CDRC Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee
CLOB Central Limit Order Book
Danaharta Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Berhad
(Malaysia government vehicle for purchasing
nonperforming loans)
Danamodal Danamodal Nasional Berhad (Malaysian
government body that recapitalized
Malaysian banks)
DAP Democratic Action Party
DPR Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (People’s
Representative Council, Indonesian House
of Representatives)
DR Dewan Rakyat (People’s Council, Malaysian
Parliament, Lower House)
FELDA Federal Land Development Authority
Gerakan Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Malaysian People’s
Movement)
Golkar Golongan Karya (Party of Functional Groups)
IBRA Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency
ICMI Ikatan Cendikiawan Muslim se-Indonesia (All-
Indonesian Association of Muslim
Intellectuals)
IMF International Monetary Fund
ISA Internal Security Act
Kadin Kamar Dagang dan Industri (Indonesian
Chamber of Commerce)
KeADILan Parti Keadilan Nasional (National JUSTice Party)

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
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Thomas B. Pepinsky
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Terms and Abbreviations xvii

KKN korupsi, kronisme, nepotisme or korupsi, kolusi,


nepotisme (corruption, cronyism/collusion,
nepotism)
Kopassus Komando Pasukan Khusus (Special Forces
Command of the Armed Forces of Indonesia)
Kostrad Komando Candangan Strategi Tentara Negara
Indonesia Angkatan Darat (Strategic Reserve
Command of the Armed Forces of Indonesia)
MARA Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Council of Trust for
Indigenous People)
MCA Malaysian Chinese Association
MIC Malaysian Indian Congress
MPR Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (People’s
Consultative Assembly)
NEAC National Economic Action Council
NEP New Economic Policy
NGO nongovernmental organization
NPL nonperforming loan
Pancasila ‘‘Five Principles,’’ the governing philosophy
underlying the New Order regime
PAS Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (Pan-Malaysian Islamic
Party)
PDI Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (Indonesian
Democratic Party)
peranakan ‘‘descendant,’’ refers to Chinese Malaysians
descended from immigrants to Malacca or
Penang in the 1800s; also refers to Chinese
Indonesians who have assimilated to
Indonesian culture
Pernas Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (National Agency
Limited)
Pertamina Perusahaan Pertambangan Minyak Negara
(National Oil Mining Corporation,
Indonesia’s petroleum parastatal)
Petronas Petroliam Nasional Berhad (National Petroleum
Limited, Malaysia’s petroleum parastatal)
PKI Partai Komunis Indonesia (Indonesian
Communist Party)

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978-0-521-76793-4 - Economic Crises and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes: Indonesia
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Thomas B. Pepinsky
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xviii Terms and Abbreviations

PNB Permodalan Nasional Berhad (National Equity


Corporation)
PPP Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (United
Development Party)
PRI Institutional Revolutionary Party of Mexico
pribumi Indonesian not of Chinese or other
nonarchipelagic ancestry; normally includes
Indonesians of Arab ancestry
PRM Parti Rakyat Malaysia (Malaysian People’s Party)
Proton Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional (National
Automobile Corporation)
PT Perusahaan Terbatas (Limited Liability
Corporation, Indonesia)
SBI Sertifikat Bank Indonesia (the standard debt
vehicle employed by Bank Indonesia)
SBPU Surat Berharga Pasar Uang (Bank Indonesia’s
short-term money market instrument)
Semangat ’46 Spirit of 1946
UMNO United Malays National Organisation
yayasan literally ‘‘foundation,’’ refers to a number of
off-budget, unmonitored funding bodies in
New Order Indonesia
Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputra Investment Foundation
Bumiputera

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